I’m only a few weeks into my ministry apprenticeship, but I’ve already started to see how crucial prayer is for any gospel worker. We are utterly helpless without God. Unless we rely on him through prayer, we will achieve nothing lasting for his kingdom.
What exactly should I pray for? It’s easy to fall into survival mode, praying that I’ll make it through my tasks for the day and perhaps have a little time to rest. But comfort shouldn’t be my primary concern. What I really need is to have my joy in God made more abundant, through Bible reading and prayer, so that I will serve him through any suffering.
Amy Carmichael, a twentieth-century missionary to India, wrote a poem which reveals her zealous heart for ministry.1 She encourages me to pray that God will be glorified through my work, whatever it costs me.
I encourage you to reflect on this poem and pray it to God today, allowing Amy’s words to reveal any false idols in your heart as you labour in ministry.
“From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain, free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.
From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
(Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified,)
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.
Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay
The hope no disappointments tire
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.”